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RE-ADVERTISEMENT: National Individual Consultancy to provide technical support in Policy Review on Inclusive Education in Uzbekistan

Employer UNICEF

Information on vacancy
Period of publication 11.04.2017 - 04.05.2017
Field of activity /
position:
Other
Duties Extension of the Vacancy Announcement:
National Individual Consultancy to provide technical support in Policy Review on Inclusive Education in Uzbekistan.

Background and Justification:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989), the World Declaration on Education for All (1990), the United Nations Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993), the Salamanca Declaration and Framework for Action (1994) and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006) all embody measures testifying to the growing awareness and understanding of the right of persons with disabilities to inclusive education.
Inclusive education is to be understood as "the result of a process of continuing and pro-active commitment to eliminate barriers impeding the right to education, together with changes to culture, policy and practice of regular schools to accommodate and effectively include all students". Inclusive education is also defined as "a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion within and from education. It involves changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of the state to educate all children".

Some children with disability do not have special needs to participate in schooling and some who has special needs can easily be included in mainstream schools with minor modifications, changes or considerations in the educational process. According to the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, 30,257 children with disabilities studied in mainstream schools, however 7,399 school-aged children registered with disabilities were out of formal education system in 2015. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that some groups are more at risk of exclusion from education than others, such as persons with intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities, persons who are deafblind and persons with autism. 17,960 children studied in schools and boarding schools for special education far from their families and mahallas, and 9,937 children were enrolled in home schooling . At the same time, inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream Early Childhood Education has received less attention than inclusion at school. Meanwhile there are no data publicly available on the number of children with disabilities in mainstream kindergartens. State Committee on Statistics figures report that in 2015, there were 21,400 children attending specialized pre-schools, a fall from 23,500 in 2014 following four years of increasing. The number of children with disabilities in specialized secondary education (specialized vocational colleges for persons with disabilities) has also fallen from 5,524 in 2009 to 3,202 in 2015. There are no data publicly available on the number of children with disabilities in mainstream kindergartens and colleges.

Uzbekistan is taking steps to establish a system of inclusive education and with support of different development agencies has been working on introduction of more inclusive and equitable services for children with disabilities. The Education Sector Plan for 2013-2017, which covers all sectors of education, envisages inclusion of children with disabilities in regular educational institutions. In 2015 MOPE issued a new order to regulate the transfer of children between schools: this order includes children with disabilities and their transfer to mainstream schools. In addition, under the national programme of reconstruction of general schools it is required to build access ramps to the school buildings regardless of whether a school is a part of the inclusive education process or not.

Signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2009 demonstrates Uzbekistan's readiness to continue following the international standards on the rights of persons with disabilities (hereafter PWD). Further support to the ratification and implementation of CRPD is included into development priorities for Uzbekistan and United Nations Agencies in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2016-2020. UN Agencies have joined efforts in assisting the Government of Uzbekistan in the process of ratification and implementation of CRPD, through proposed Joint Programme on PWD, with special focus on children with disabilities, which includes comprehensive Situation Analysis of Children and Persons with Disabilities.

UNICEF has been advocating for introducing sustainable measures to address deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities by providing alternative models that guarantee a holistic approach to the needs of the child, in line with an inclusive model that can go beyond the "medical model" inherited by many countries from the Soviet system. To address gaps and challenges in the existing system of education in provision and guarantee of equitable and quality inclusive education for all children, UNICEF recognizes the importance of supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in creating enabling environment for promotion of inclusive education, which will enhance and ensure CRC and CRPD implementation in the Country.

Purpose:
In order to strengthen enabling environment for provision of inclusive education services with the focus on the most disadvantaged children Ц children with disabilities, and to address the bottleneck of weak legislation and policy in the area of inclusive education, UNICEF is going to support revision and improvement of existing policies and legislative frameworks. Considering the importance of evidence generation for policy dialogue and development, UNICEF shall support the Government of Uzbekistan in implementation of inclusive education in the country. Knowledge generated from consultancy, with support from highly qualified technical experts, will be utilized by relevant Ministries to draft policies.

As an initial step, UNICEF Uzbekistan Country Office in collaboration with MOPE intends to facilitate a comprehensive policy review in inclusive education, which is the main purpose of the consultancy.

To ensure quality of work, two consultants will be involved in Policy Review: International and National Consultants. The present TOR is developed for the National Consultant.

Objectives:
The objective of the policy review is to analyze existing legislative and normative documents, programmes and conceptual frameworks with the focus on principles of inclusive education, determine strengths and weaknesses, identify gaps, provide recommendations for further revision and inform strategy development for introduction of inclusive education into the mainstream education system. This is intended to enhance political commitment, accountability and capacity development of national stakeholders to legislate, plan and budget for improved quality and equitable inclusive education services at all levels.

The main aim of the consultancy is to provide technical support to International Consultant, specifically to:

1. Conduct interviews of state officials and representatives of civil society organizations to clarify their understanding of situation of inclusive education, current policies and guiding documents, as well as existing challenges (list of respondents, interview guidelines and interview report forms will be provided by the International Consultant).
2. Compile policy, legal and normative documents (including educational standards and curriculums for pre-school, primary and secondary education, teacher training), administrative statistics and reports related to inclusive education and map them.
3. Review and provide feedback to the policy review report to be developed by the International Consultant.
4. Participate in the meetings and workshop conducted by the International Consultant, prepare minutes of above-mentioned events

Timeline & Deliverables:

Х Policy and programme documents (normative and legislative, programmes, extracts from policy documents) are compiled and provided for further review by the International Consultant;
Х Country specific background information on the situation with regards to inclusive education and situation of children with disabilities (ongoing preschool and basic and specialized secondary educational programs, relevant national statistics, reports and conceptual frameworks related to IE) is provided;
Х Mapping of the existing policy documents on inclusive education is provided;
Х Interviews of state officials (working in MOPE, its regional and district branches, in mainstream and special educational institutions) and representatives of civil society organizations are conducted, interview report forms filled out;
Х Inputs (as resource person) for development of the Action Plan for IE policy revision provided.

Activities/Tasks

Х Discuss and agree on the structure of mapping exercise with UNICEF and further with the International Consultant ;
Х Desk review and collection of necessary background information/documents on existing legislative and normative frameworks related to IE, ongoing preschool and educational (both basic and specialized secondary) programs, relevant national statistics, and conceptual frameworks related to IE. This needs to be done in close collaboration with International Consultant and under the guideline of the Team Leader of the UN Joint Project on CWD/PWD;
Х Development of a mapping of existing policy documents (legislative and normative bases, formal orders, concepts, programs etc.)
Х Get acquainted with the instructions on conducting interview provided by the International Consultant (verbal within coaching and written);
Х Conduct interviews with state officials, civil society and beneficiaries (list of respondents and interview guidelines will be provided by International Consultant (in Russian) and prepare report;
Х Accompany the International Consultant to all meetings and interviews with main stakeholders and provide necessary support as required to get more information and clarification;
Х Review and provide feedback to the policy review report to be developed by the International Consultant;
Х Function as a resource person in the consultative workshop to present findings of the policy review exercise and develop action plan for revision of IE policy.

Management:
The national Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the ECD Officer and guidance of the Team Leader of the UN Joint Project of PWD, as well as in consultation with M&E Section of UNICEF Uzbekistan CO, International Consultant and identified national partners and government officials.

Resource requirements:
According to UNICEF policy, the final fees will be set based on the "best value for money" principle. 55 working days are allocated for accomplishment of all tasks and deliverables within the period of May Ц August, 2017.
The candidates are requested to submit their financial offer consisting of fee for the services to be provided.
Requirements to the candidate
Age: n/a
Gender: Irrelevant
Residence: n/a
Education: Higher
Professional requirements Required qualifications and areas of expertise:

- Advanced University degree in education, health, social sciences, or related field (validated by certificate);
- At least 8 years of professional and relevant experience in education, preferably in inclusive education or relevant area and knowledge of the situation with IE in Uzbekistan (proved by CV and work experience);
- Good knowledge of legislative and programmatic bases of Education in Uzbekistan with special focus on IE and acquaintance with normative backgrounds of the existing Education/IE policy (verified by CV and/or interview);
- Good networking and interpersonal skills (verified through an interview);
- Excellent written and spoken skills in Uzbek and Russian. Good knowledge of English will be an asset. (verified by examination of previous written work and interview)

Procedures and Working Conditions
UNICEF will reserve copy right of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify materials produced at any time.

The consultant must clearly identify any potential ethical issues arising from the fulfilment of her/his tasks and duties in the framework of this assignment and ensure that s/he performs the assignment in a manner that does not expose UNICEF to any such risks.

Consultant is expected to work independently and respond to feedback from supervisor in a timely and professional manner, to be result driven, and to have the ability to work under pressure and meet required deadlines.

UNICEF undertakes no liability for taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultant on payments made under this contract

Reservations
UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if deliverable(s) incomplete, not finalized or for failure to meet deadlines. UNICEF will reserve copy right of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. The contractor must respect the confidentiality of the information handled during the assignment. Documents and information provided must be used only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.
Working conditions
Region Tashkent
Employment Partial
Salary offered n/a
Additional information
Additional information: Closing date for Applications:

The application should include a Cover Letter, a current CV and P11 form, expected fee for the consultancy service, names and contact details of professional or academic referees. Applications should be submitted in a sealed envelope by close of business on 4 May 2017 to the attention of HR Assistant, UNICEF Office, 16, Sharof Rashidov Street, Tashkent. Only those who are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

Candidates who have already applied for this consultancy, do not need to re-submit their applications, as they are already under consideration by UNICEF.


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